My first article for the Daily Campus was about the Omsbud’s office. I imagine that all of you are just as aware as I was: 1. What exactly an Omsbud is and 2. That UConn has one. I am almost positive that it was the very last story that remained on the budget and, the associate news editor at the time, Julia Werth, encouraged me to take it. Something she would continue to do for the rest of her time at the DC.
I was told to contact Stephanie Reitz, UConn’s spokesperson. She connected me to the omsbud and we were going to meet the next day. I pulled out my best blazer and spent copious amounts of time the night before prepping hard-hitting questions to get at what exactly this omsbud was.
It’s safe to say that I had overprepared. He was very easygoing and told me everything about his job and the role he plays in addressing the needs of aggrieved UConn staff. I spent the next few hours writing and intensely revising with my editors.
The butterflies I had for that first story returned with each successive story I wrote. I was never more excited than getting a new story at a news meeting and sending that preliminary email to Stephanie, arguably UConn’s best resource.
The Daily Campus brought me to many more omsbuds, in a figurative sense. I was introduced to so many people who have changed me in ways I could never conceive. The Daily Campus introduced me to circumstances outside of my comfort zone and told me to write about them.
I never thought I would get to have my own covert informant, and I did. I never thought I would stare down a receptionist at the police department until 2 a.m. waiting for a story, and I did. I never thought I would receive an email from someone at the United Nations to talk about an article I had written, and I did.
The Daily Campus is many moments of “I never thought that…” This is largely due to the incredibly supportive and wonderful people here. You will never meet a group of people more dedicated to a particular cause at UConn than the Daily Campus. Their dedication is what pushes the paper out five days a week, no matter how late they stay up to do so. Their dedication is what provides such excellent student journalism. And, their dedication is why I am currently crying writing this article.
The Daily Campus taught me to how to relentlessly pursue the truth, send strongly-worded emails and spend all of my money at 7/11 buying cheese. The Daily Campus has greatly expanded my Spotify playlists and has given me some of my dearest friends.
I will graduate next week with the distinct honor of working at the most incredible place in the world. I only hope my future places of employment will have half the tenacity and heart of the Daily Campus.
To this day, I carry that omsbud card I got from my first story in my wallet. For those of you lucky enough to have more time at UConn, write for the Daily Campus. It will be the best decision you ever make in college. Thank you, DC. Can’t wait to see all of the incredible things you will continue to do!
Elizabeth Charash is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.